APR. 02, 2018 - VOL. 54 No. 6

Chair's Column
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Member Anniversaries
Cover Story
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YPN celebrates nine years of growth

The Young Professionals Network was launched in 2009 as a program of the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce. In its nine years, it has grown to nearly 1,000 members representing industries such as finance, engineering, agriculture, retail and many more.

The events and programs offered by the YPN have evolved over time to meet the needs of membership, but the basic goal remains the same: to develop and connect young leaders in the Sioux Falls area.

A variety of networking and professional development events are held on a weekly basis. Formats range from small group sessions to larger networking events with more than 100 people. Recurring monthly networking events include Morning Buzz and Off the Clock, which are held at various Chamber member locations. These social events provide an environment for YPN members to form new professional connections in a casual setting. Professional development and community-focused events, including Community Connections Tours and Our Sioux Falls, are popular sessions that give members an inside look at a local project or initiative. One of YPN's most popular events is A Seat at the Table, which allows members to meet and ask questions of prominent business leaders in the community in small-group environment. Recent speakers include Chelsea Tracy, Conversation Piece; Jodi Schwan, SiouxFalls.Business; and Marla Meyer, Girl Scouts-Dakota Horizons. The April session of A Seat at the Table will feature the Chamber's Chair of the Board of Directors, Steve Van Buskirk, Van Buskirk Companies.

YPN Birthday Bash

Thursday, April 26

4-7 p.m.

El Riad Shrine
510 S. Phillips Ave.

In a continuing effort to evaluate and evolve programming to serve members, YPN recently created two new avenues for young professionals to engage in the program.

First is the Agri-Business YPN group, which was formed in early 2018 and will work closely with the Agri-Business Division of the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce. The goal of the AB YPN group is to educate young professionals about agriculture and its impact on our region. The group kicked off in January by providing an opportunity to volunteer at the Sioux Empire Farm Show. YPN member Abbie Ranschau, Dacotah Bank, volunteered her time assisting with bidder registration at the livestock sales portion of the show. "The Sioux Empire Farm Show was a great way to see one aspect of farm life and be able to interact with farmers from across the community," said Ranschau.

The second program addition to YPN this year is the Civic Engagement Action Team, which launches in April. The goal of this team is to create opportunities to educate YPN members on policy topics and current issues at both the state and local level. The action team will meet monthly and is open to any YPN member who would like to be involved.

Marcus Mahlen, NAI Sioux Falls, and Josh Muckenhirn, JLG Architects, are serving as co-chairs of the Civic Engagement Action Team. They plan to use the group to discuss how the YPN can help drive political awareness and participation within our community.

"We will be providing a platform for young professionals to get involved right away, from day one, to learn more about the local school board, to get involved in a non-profit or meet and have a common-sense discussion with their city council member," said Mahlen. "They might even get to help propose an idea that could make its way to the state's governing body in Pierre and much more, but the premise of providing a platform for young professionals to get involved in their community in a substantive way is the basis behind this action team."

Other established action teams within the YPN include: Membership; Social; and Personal & Professional Development. All action teams are open to any YPN member who wishes to participate.

The YPN will celebrate their ninth birthday at the annual YPN Birthday Bash on April 26 from 4-7 p.m. at the El Riad Shrine. Admission is free. The event will feature live music, hors d'oeuvres and a fresh new look for YPN. For more information, visit or email

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